A Dr.’s Bedside Manner


One thing I noticed (big difference) between the doctors I met at Deaconness compared to the ones at Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Chicago was the bedside manner.

One was aloof while the other took his time, got on dad’s level, and explained to the family tests that were ran regarding my father’s condition and the time he has left.

I wish more doctors would realize the impact they have on their patients…patients are more than the sum of their diseases/symptoms…that they are a human being with feelings, fears and doubts.

Part of being a health care professional is retaining your sense of humanity. Trust me,  a little bit of kindness goes a long way-especially with those families who are about to lose a loved one. A positive bedside manner can help patients recover quickly (in some cases)….studies have been completed regarding the doctor/patient relationship.  Perhaps a patient may reveal more about their illness to a doctor who they can trust.

Health care providers should always remember the Hippocratic oath:

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.

I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.

I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given to me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

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